A UK military drone strike had killed three fighters in Syria, including two British men who had joined Islamic State militants, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday.
Cameron said the group had been planning “barbaric” attacks against Britain and that the Aug. 21 drone strike on a car in Raqqa was legally justified. He said it was taken in “self-defense” to keep Britain safe.
“There was a terrorist directing murder on our streets and no other means to stop them,” Cameron said, adding that the decision to attack hadn’t been taken lightly.
The prime minister told Parliament the attorney general had been consulted and had approved the drone strike by the Royal Air Force.
“I am not prepared to stand here in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on our streets and have to explain to the House why I did not take the chance to prevent it when I could have done,” Cameron told Parliament as legislators convened following a summer recess.
The prime minister said the threat from Islamic State fighters was more acute than ever before and that the drone attack was the only “feasible means” of dealing with the danger in this case.
No civilians were killed in the strike, which was carried out independent of coalition military activity taking place in the region, he said.
Cameron also said police and security forces had thwarted at least six terror attacks inside Britain in the last 12 months.